Beware: Top COVID-19 Scams
With the rise of COVID-19 comes the rise of scams. Be on the look out for the top scams listed below.
- Top Scam: Fake Stimulus Check: scammers are creating fake stimulus checks like the one featured below.
- Robocalls: HANG UP! Scammers or scammy companies use illegal robocalls to profit from Coronavirus-related fears — posing as the IRS or Medicare. Visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website to hear examples of these scam calls: ftc.gov/coronavirus.
- Testing Scam: scammers are calling or knocking on doors in white lab coats or hazmat gear claiming to be with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention selling fake at-home Coronavirus tests.
- Treatment Scam: scammers are calling or knocking on doors in white lab coats or hazmat gear claiming to be with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention selling fake cures, vaccines, and medical advice on unproven treatments.
- Supply Scam: scammers are creating fake shops, website, social media accounts, and email addresses to sell medical supplies in high demand, like surgical masks. When you try to purchase supplies, they pocket the money.
- Provider Scam: scammers are contacting people by phone or email, pretending to be doctors or hospitals that have treated a friend or family member for COVID-19 and demanding payment.
- Charity Scam: scammers are soliciting donations for individuals, groups, and area impacted by coronavirus.
- Phishing Scam: scammers are sending emails posing as health officials, including the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They want to trick you into downloading malware or providing personal identification and financial information.
- App Scam: scammers are creating and controlling mobile apps used to track the spread of COVID-19. If used, these apps insert malware on your device that steals your personal and financial information.
- Compassion & Romance Scams: scammers will use this opportunity to prey on your vulnerability while you are contained and isolated to your home, developing a friendship or romantic relationship with you to gain your trust and obtain your personal and financial information.
Beware of Red Flags:
- Urgency – scammers will apply pressure or use fear to get you to act
- Scarcity – scammers will claim there is a limited supply, so you must “buy now.”
- Social Consensus – scammers want you to think everyone else is doing it too, and you don’t want to be left behind!
- Credible Sources – scammers will claim they are with a reputable business or organization.
As a reminder, Texas DPS Credit Union will never call and ask for your card information or PIN. If you’ve received a call you feel may be a scam, hang up and call the business directly.
The Senior Source, Elder Financial Safety Center. “Top COVID-19 Scams.” www.theseniorsource.org